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Summer InSight: Retirement, Cash Flow, Loans and the Economy

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Summertime marks the mid-point of the year, so now is a good time to take a moment to check in on your full financial picture, including a review of your goals and progress you’ve made toward milestones. Statistics show almost four million Americans anticipate retiring in the next 15 years, and there are key considerations that can help anyone prepare, whether retirement is right around the corner or 20 years away.

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We encourage everyone to have a solid plan for retirement, which begins with understanding your core numbers: anticipated age of retirement, how much income you’ll need to maintain your current lifestyle after retirement, and the value of your assets and cash savings. Having a clear picture of your current and future states makes establishing priorities simpler. Keeping these numbers in mind as you make other financial decisions ensures your goals and choices remain in alignment.

While retirement planning is critical for your future, there will always be plenty of present-day matters to attend to. This issue of InSight covers several topics related to life events and the economy. Beth Brown, senior vice president and senior wealth advisor, discusses steps to consider when you are faced with an unexpected financial windfall to help ensure your plan supports your objectives. Shelly Addington, vice president and private banking client manager, provides an educational construction loan overview, including what you can expect from the process from start to finish. And KC Mathews, UMB Bank executive vice president and chief investment officer, delivers an economic analysis that covers the impacts of political and policy shifts.

For more details on these and other financial matters, read the full Insight issue or visit our Private Wealth Management page.


Dana Abraham is president of the Personal Banking Division and is responsible for the delivery of comprehensive financial services. Her areas of focus include Wealth Planning, Private Banking, Personal Trust, Investment Management and Insurance. She joined UMB in 2005 and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Abraham earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in both accounting and economics from the University of Louisiana. She is a graduate of Leadership Overland Park and Kansas City Tomorrow Leadership programs.



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Are you ready for retirement?

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It is anticipated that almost four million Americans will retire in the next 15 years, forcing many to face the question, “Am I ready for retirement?” As this growing number of Americans consider the next chapter in their lives, they are discovering a gap in their retirement plan.

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Retirement is one of the largest transitions a person will encounter in their lifetime, yet only one-third of Americans feel they are financially prepared. According to Mintel’s April 2017 Consumers and the Economic Outlook report, 11 percent of Americans nearing retirement age are preparing to look for new, higher-paying jobs as a way to improve their financial situation.

By proactively planning and establishing priorities in advance, individuals will be better equipped to have a successful transition into their golden years. Whether retirement is right around the corner or 20 years away, these key considerations can help establish a level-set for retirement preparation.

What’s your number?

First ask yourself “How much money do I need to live?” and “How much money do I have?” These questions can help establish a goal and define areas that should be closely analyzed. If financial gaps exist, assess and determine how to fill them.

It is important to consider the financial implications of several critical areas, including:

  • Average living expenses
  • Healthcare
  • Mortgage or rent
  • Property and other tax obligations
  • Charitable giving
  • Legacy considerations

How much and how long do you want to work?

Over the last 15 years, a shift has been taking place—it no longer has to be “all or nothing” when it comes to employment. More people are retiring in stages, or semi-retiring. Instead of completely stepping away from a career, they might transition out of a role slowly.

Additionally, many Americans are planning to work longer or stay involved in their businesses beyond what is considered traditional retirement. According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 20 percent of Americans 65 and older are now working.

Think about where you would like to be on this spectrum to help determine when, and to what degree, your earning potential will change.

Establish priorities

If the priority is retirement, establish goals and create a plan first and foremost. Perform an in-depth analysis of the entire financial portfolio to assess total assets and decide if retirement goals are achievable. Determine if your portfolio assets can support your desired lifestyle during retirement. If a path to retirement is clear, then begin to think about secondary priorities; these could include leaving a legacy, charitable giving or the opportunity to travel more often. If the path to retirement isn’t clear or if financial assets come up short, consider putting off retirement for a few years, saving more money, adjusting an estimated living plan or reassessing assets.

Create a clear plan

Planning is the most important aspect of a successful transition into retirement. Planning early and reevaluating often is critical. One way to establish a sound financial plan is to work with a financial advisor, who can help you not only establish goals, but work to make them a reality.

Additionally, financial advisors can help counsel families where members may have different goals or considerations that need to be taken into account. They can help communicate each person’s unique goals and assist families in creating a shared plan that meets everyone’s needs.

Finally, they can also track your progress and help identify any changes you may need to make along the way.

For anyone considering retirement, asking the important questions, creating a strategic plan and consistently evaluating progress can help lead to a successful transition. Working with a financial advisor can alleviate questions and ensure that a plan is being considered from all angles, providing valuable support for this life transition.

Interested in learning more about our Private Wealth Management division? See what we mean when we say, “Your story is our focus.


Dana Abraham is president of the Personal Banking Division and is responsible for the delivery of comprehensive financial services. Her areas of focus include Wealth Planning, Private Banking, Personal Trust, Investment Management and Insurance. She joined UMB in 2005 and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Abraham earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in both accounting and economics from the University of Louisiana. She is a graduate of Leadership Overland Park and Kansas City Tomorrow Leadership programs.



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Individual retirement trust: a new way to save for retirement

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An individual retirement trust allows you to maintain the tax advantages that come with saving and investing in an individual retirement account (IRA), while providing you with the long-term control of a trust. You may be familiar with the uses and benefits of an IRA, and you may have a good understanding of trusts, but this unique solution can be the best of both worlds.

Individual retirement trust: a new way to save for retirement

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The basics

An IRA, whether Roth or traditional, is a savings mechanism that allows you to invest funds for your future retirement. The sooner you begin putting money into an IRA, the more time your money has to grow before you reach 70½, the age at which you are required to begin taking distributions from the account. IRAs prepare you for retirement and provide tax advantages, allowing you to choose whether to make contributions tax-free (traditional) or receive your distributions tax-free (Roth).

A trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to set aside funds for specific beneficiaries to receive when you pass away. Trusts can be managed by a third party called a trustee. The trustee handles management of the trust, including things like managing trust investments, making distributions to beneficiaries and taking care of trust assets, both during your lifetime and after your death.

An individual retirement trust combines the tax advantages of an IRA with the long-term control of a trust. This type of account allows you to save for retirement while maximizing tax advantages and ensures your IRA funds are distributed according to your wishes. Simply select your beneficiaries—whether people, organizations or charities—and the percentage of funds each beneficiary should receive, plus any conditions you have in mind. Once you have selected beneficiaries and determined percentages of distribution, the trustee oversees all of the distributions, including adjustments you may direct over time.

Using an individual retirement trust allows you to bypass the complicated IRS requirements involved in naming a trust as an IRA beneficiary, which is an alternative option. The trust portion of the account also helps protect your legacy from asset seizure by the potential creditors of your beneficiaries. If your heirs inherit your IRA assets without the protection of a trust, funds can be taken by a beneficiary’s creditors in the event of a beneficiary’s bankruptcy.

Also, individual retirement trusts can be set up with disability provisions that ensure your accounts are maintained in the event of your illness or long-term incapacitation. In this case, the trustee will take over the management of your retirement fund investments, coordinate bill pay and administer distributions as set forth in the document—all without the need for a separate guardian or conservator.

Who can benefit from an individual retirement trust?

Individual retirement trusts offer a unique structure that may not work for everyone. Most importantly, this structure is best for those who already have significant retirement assets and are concerned about the future management of those assets.

If you are particularly tax-sensitive, you may benefit from an individual retirement trust because it allows you to maximize the tax deferment available through the stretch payout option, whether the IRA is a traditional or Roth account.

If you have divorced and remarried, this solution can help you streamline the inheritance process by allowing you to select a variety of beneficiaries with varying inheritance percentages. Step-children can be included, as can organizations of your choice. For blended families, individual retirement trusts are beneficial in that they provide extensive control over the distribution of assets. Specifically, beneficiary designations will not be changeable, even after your passing, which ensures the heirs you have chosen are provided with exactly what you have determined for them regardless of later marriages or life changes.

Individual retirement trusts are also good vehicles for those concerned with the use of the funds by heirs and seek to include limitations. Any amount set aside for a beneficiary that is more than the required minimum distribution (RMD) can be subject to the trustee’s discretion.

Bottom line:

An individual retirement trust can help you achieve the tax advantages of an individual retirement account paired with a comprehensive asset management plan for your heirs–now and in the future. You will be able to build and customize your legacy with multiple beneficiaries, long-term control and detailed asset distribution options. Combining an IRA with a trust can streamline your legacy administration and simplify the process in one efficient document.
 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Conley is a vice president and legal counsel for UMB Private Wealth Management. He is responsible for reviewing estate planning documents and working with attorneys, clients, trust and bank associates regarding various legal issues that arise in the creation of trusts and estates. He joined UMB Private Wealth Management in 2000. Mr. Conley is an attorney and Certified Public Accountant. He is licensed to practice law in Kansas and Iowa.



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Financial Word of the Week: Generation-skipping transfer tax

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Financial Word of the Week - Generation-skipping transfer tax

The generation-skipping transfer tax (GST tax) is a separate transfer tax that is imposed on certain transfers and may apply in addition to any gift or estate tax due. The purpose of the GST tax is to tax the transfer of assets passing to a person more than one generation beyond the donor (i.e., “skipping” a generation). This flat-rate tax is calculated at the maximum estate tax rate applicable at the time of the transfer. (In 2015, the maximum estate tax rate is 40 percent.) However, like the gift and estate tax, there are certain exemptions that may apply to help avoid or minimize the impact of the GST tax. For example, there is a lifetime exemption that allows you to transfer a certain dollar amount of assets without incurring this tax. In 2015, the exemption amount is $5,430,000. In addition, there is an annual exclusion available that currently allows for the transfer of $14,000 to any individual without the GST tax being imposed.

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One of the keys to the GST tax rule is that it is designed to only tax certain transfers – those involving a transfer of assets to a person one or more generations down the line. For family members such as grandchildren, this is straightforward. For example, a gift from a grandparent to a grandchild would skip the donor’s child’s generation and would, absent an applicable exemption, be subject to the GST tax. However, for non-family members, whether a transfer skips a generation is not always as apparent. For gifts to unrelated individuals, the Internal Revenue Code deems a gift to someone more than 37 ½ years younger to have “skipped” a generation and is therefore subject to the GST tax.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Financial Word of the Week: Gift tax annual exclusion

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Financial Word of the Week - gift tax annual exclusion

The gift tax is a transfer tax imposed on any gift you give someone during your lifetime. However, the Internal Revenue Code provides each individual with a gift tax annual exclusion. The annual exclusion is the amount of property one individual may give each year to another individual without incurring any gift tax consequences. This number is adjusted annually for inflation and is currently $14,000 per donor per donee in 2015. “Per donor per donee” means that each individual donor may give $14,000 each to as many individuals as the donor wishes. For example, in 2015, each parent can give to each of their three children $14,000 in gifts, for a total of $ 28,000 per child.

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Financial Word of the Week: Power of Attorney

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Financial Word of the Week - power of attorney

A durable power of attorney is a legal document where you as the “principal” designate an agent to handle the matters described in the document during your lifetime. A power of attorney is “durable” only if it provides that your agent may act even if you are disabled. In addition, there are many different kinds of power of attorney:

  • ordinary – revocable and automatically terminates upon the death or incapacity of the principal
  • springing – become effective only when needed, at some future date or upon some future occurrence, usually the principal’s incapacity
  • general – authorizes an agent to transact business for the principal
  • special – limits the agent’s authority to only a specified matter.
  • durable – remains in effect during the principal’s incapacity

Powers of attorney are central part of most estate plans, and provide a mechanism outside of court guardianships and conservatorships for management of your affairs. It can be a useful complement to a revocable trust, as the trustee would not have powers regarding assets not held in the trust. Rather, the agent can deal with assets held outside of the trust and other business that the trustee may not be able to handle, such as signing your income tax returns or dealing with a retirement asset.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Financial Word of the Week: Credit Shelter Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - credit shelter trust

A Credit Shelter Trust (also known as family trust, non-marital trust or bypass trust) is one that is usually employed as part of a married individual’s estate plan. Upon the death of the first spouse, it is funded with the estate tax exempt amount, sometimes referred to as the Unified Credit. Such a trust is often structured to provide benefits to a decedent’s surviving spouse, without triggering estate tax upon the second spouse’s death. Property in the credit shelter trust can then pass through to descendants upon the death of the surviving spouse with no estate taxes paid by the estate of either spouse. In 2015, the estate tax exempt amount is $5,430,000.

In light of the high exemption amount, it is always a good time to update your estate plan with your legal advisor.

 

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Financial Word of the Week: Estate Tax

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Financial Word of the Week - estate tax

If you’re an heir to a relative or friend’s estate, you need to know what an estate tax is AND realize that there’s a good chance it may not apply to you as it once would have in the past. Estate tax is a transfer tax imposed when someone passes away and leaves his or her assets to you. Currently, the federal government and 16 individual states charge an estate tax.

The federal estate tax rate is currently at 40 percent. Fortunately, the tax code allows all individuals to pass a certain amount of assets (either during their lifetime, at death or a combination of both) before those transfers are subject to the federal estate tax. This amount has jumped dramatically in the past 15 years, going from $675,000 in 2001 to $5,430,000 in 2015. As a result, many estates will not be subject to a federal estate tax.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Financial Word of the Week: Corporate Fiduciary

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Financial Word of the Week - corporate fiduciary

A corporate fiduciary is a financial institution that exercises fiduciary‡ responsibility for the benefit of an individual or individuals. Mostly commonly, it’s children and the elderly who need fiduciaries. A fiduciary exercises a high standard of care in managing another’s money or property. Fiduciaries can be known by many names – trustee, executor and conservator are a few common examples of fiduciaries in an estate planning context. For more, read our post on “What are fiduciaries and why do you need them?”

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Corporate fiduciary vs. individual fiduciary

Some of the advantages to hiring a corporate fiduciary over an individual fiduciary include gaining the institution’s financial expertise, neutrality, longevity, and high standard of care. Corporate fiduciaries have these pros:

  • many years of experience in managing and investing funds for clients,
  • no ties to any one beneficiary, and so will be in the best place to follow the grantor’s wishes,
  • longevity that eliminates concerns that death or disability of an individual fiduciary will  interfere with management of assets, and
  • will exercise a high standard of care, as they have internal safeguards and audits to ensure compliance to state and federal regulations governing fiduciary conduct.

Regardless of the nature of the role, the aim of a corporate fiduciary is to make the best financial decision for the beneficial owner of any assets under its supervision.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Financial Word of the Week: Charitable Remainder Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - charitable remainder trust

Conceptually, a charitable remainder trust (CRT) is similar to a charitable lead trust (CLT), except the payouts happen in the reverse order. In fact, a CRT is a trust that provides for distributions  to one or more individuals for a term specified under the terms of the CRT, with the balance passing to one or more charities at the end of the specified term.  The individuals generally receive an annual payment equal to a fixed annuity amount or a percentage of the trust assets valued annually.  The individuals will generally receive these payments either for a term of years (up to 20 years) or throughout the lives of one or more named individuals.

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Unlike a CLT, a CRT is considered a tax-exempt trust, and the trust itself does not pay any taxes. This allows the donor a current charitable deduction for contributions made to the CRT with the amount of the deduction being the present value of the remainder interest that will pass to charity. This makes a CRT a great vehicle for highly appreciated assets as the assets can be contributed to the CRT and the assets will not generate any tax to the trust when sold inside the CRT. However, it is important to note that the payments made to the individuals, may be subject to taxes at the individual level. Also, it is important to note that in order to receive the tax benefits and to qualify as a CRT, the IRS has placed certain restrictions on how a CRT must be structured, this is in part to ensure that a portion of the assets will in fact pass to the designated charities.

For more information on estate planning, check out our post on the benefits of a will.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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